Back on the saddle again

Posted by SuperClydesdale on November 10, 2010 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

On the beach in Cabo, thinking about what the poor people are doing at this moment...

I haven’t posted anything in the last week, because I’ve been vacationing in Cabo.   Phenominal time   ATV riding, drinking, zip-lining, drinking, swimming, drinking.

I’ve developed a bit of a taste for tequila, and when I say tequila, I mean real tequila – not Jose Cuervo you find on supermarket shelves in the US.   Real stuff from 100% blue agave, aged in oak barrels.   Quite nice.

Not a lot cycling options in the Cabo area, unless you are prepared to take your life into your own hands.   While Cabo itself is quite nice and relatively safe to visit, I couldn’t imagine trying to ride a bike down there.   People just do whatever they hell they want behind the wheel.  The roads are crap as well.   Plus, I’d have to have to be weighed down with panniers just to haul around enough pesos to pay my obligatory bribes to the police to be allowed to proceed.

“Senior, you are not wearing a helmet, which is illegal in this state.”

“Senior, you are wearing a helmet that does not fit you properly, which is illegal in this state.”

“Senior, your spandex riding suit is offensive, and pornographic, which is illegal in this state.”

Each of these offenses is a 300-peso bribe, then you’re on your way for another mile or so.

I spent some time with an expatriate as well.  Actually not a true ex-pat because he maintains a house in the US, but a guy who lives down there much of the year.   He said that there really wasn’t many options for mountain biking because of the need to stay close to town for security reasons.   After witnessing the native roads and the citizens driving on them, I think I might want to take my chances running into a pot farm on a mountain bike than trying to ride the roads on a road bike.  I’d say I’d have a 75% survival shot on the mountain bike/drug cartel combo, about a 20% chance on the road bike, and about 50/50 by car on any given trip across town.  I am, indeed, lucky to be back without any injuries.

While in Cabo, I stayed at one of the nicest resorts I’ve ever experienced, a place called the One and Only Palmilla.  Over the top nice.  Don’t ask how much per night.

One of the first things that caught our eye when we arrived were the handful of adult tricycles they had locked up by the main entrance.

On my way to the bar. Crap this thing was tough to pedal!

The tricycle is a heavy thing with terrible gearing.   Recommended for downhill use only, apparently.   And, straight downhills at that.   Even a slight curve in the road required some serious leaning to keep the thing from tipping over.  I was so top heavy, I would go up on two wheels around the slightest of corners, and at speed, it was even worse.  Try that after a few cocktails on the beach.  When I first got the trike and rode it to my room, I was floored at how difficult it was to pedal.    My wife got around okay, and I thought, “Holy Christ!  I know I’ve put on a couple of pounds over the last few months, but has it come to this?  Am I going to do the walk of shame to the bar?”   The gearing was so bad that even a slight incline would require all of my weight on the pedal just to get the cranks to move.  At all.  I discovered on day 3 – so after three days of riding this thing — that the front brake caliper was totally out of adjustment, and in fact the brake was pretty much clamped down the entire time.   I turned the barrel adjustment all the way out and, while it still rubbed, it was much easier.

The resort is fairly compact, so the trike wasn’t enough to get a real workout, it was more for simply getting to the bar faster.   When I need a $20 margarita, I need it now.   I thought about perhaps a drinking game where you ride the trike from one end of the resort to the other, come back, slam a tequila shot, and see who can make it the farthest before they tipped over.   Sort of like an endurance race like the Coolest 24 Hours that they have up my way.

Sans endurance race, the trike just wouldn’t be enough.   I didn’t want to go the week without a decent cardio workout, and running from people trying to sell timeshares to me at the airport didn’t last long enough.   I knew I had to do something so horrible, so heinous, that I am still debating whether or not to mention it even as I type these words.

I rode an indoor trainer.

There.  I said it, and I admit it, but I’m not happy about it.  I just had to come clean because I have been very hard on trainers in the past, and it would seem dishonest not to mention it.

What can I say?  I had no other choice for cardio, other than a treadmill or a stairstepper, and those are not suitable for use by a man.  I might as well have signed up for a facial, or had an inexpensive Mexican sex change operation.  Same difference.

So, I get on the machine and the first one is even lower than a normal trainer, both figuratively and literally.  It’s a recumbent.  How humiliating.  It made it that much more difficult to commit to using a trainer.  But, they only had two trainers, one just a normal unit, the other, a recumbent with a TV monitor and headphones.  I thought, “what the hell?  If I am going to do something as boring as riding a trainer for an hour, I am going to at least watch some TV.”

The One and Only  is a very high-touch resort.  No, not that type of touching – unfortunately.  I mean that they are very attentive, very focused on the customer at every moment.  I sat on the recumbent monstrosity, and the female attendant at the gym practically sprints over to show me how to use the thing (“da ma-chine”).    She asked me the duration, my weight, and then what level, from 1 to 25.  I thought “I’m fit, I’m a watt machine.  I’ll go somewhere near the top, but not too hard.”   I tell her “18.”   “hmmm…  that’s heavy.”  I said, “I’m heavy.  let’s do it.”  And I was off.

Even with the TV, it was pure torture.    I immediately start sweating like Brendan Fraser in Bedazzled.  It’s just pouring off of me.   Within minutes, I was drenched.   If someone walked into the gym, I’m sure they thought “how come they let that guy go straight from the pool to that bicycle machine?  I know they wouldn’t even let me in here if tried that!”

The attendant was right.  18 was heavy.   And the recumbent ride further confirmed that recumbents suck.    It was all butt, like doing thousands of lightweight squats for an hour.  And, it’s not manly.   I think I started growing breasts while I was on that thing.   My manzier is definitely up to a C cup now.   It’s like it was injecting me with estrogen.

A couple of days and many cocktails and tequila tastings later, I knew it was time to get some cardio again.  So, I trike it on back to the gym.   The staff immediately ran and got the mops.

But TV or not, I could not stand another round on the recumbent —  I’m going to have to have counseling from my first attempt.  So, I jump on the conventional trainer, and set it for 45 minutes on a difficultly of 8 out of 12.   No way I can endure a full 60 minutes on that thing.  The sweat begins.

This time, no TV, so I am left to simply people watch for 45 minutes of sweaty suffering.   Between bi-minute wipedowns to keep the room filling with sweat, I watched the guests come and go.  Most people at a resort like this spend about 10-15 minutes on their trip to the gym.  And, from looking at them, I think that they were simply treating it like a tour – they’d heard about this exercise thing, but couldn’t really remember what it entailed.  They check out various machines, then go back to the bar and tell their spouse “yeah, I went to the gym.  I’ll have another Mango ‘rita please!”

So, back it the States, and ready to ride.  My new NiteRider lights came in just before I left for Mexico, so I am ready to blind wildlife and oncoming motorists with my 1400 lumen little sliver of the Sun.

Viva la Superclydesdale.

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